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Old 14-10-2010, 19:53   #1
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Wife and Seasickness

I grew up sailing, moved to primarily fishing boats when life limited my time. I'm now closing in on the ability to retire and and ready to move back to sailing the keys and the Bahamas. Issue is the wife gets seasick on a ferry. She's trying but we're both worried that she isn't going to be able to adjust.

Advice, words of wisdom and all assistance appreciated.
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Old 14-10-2010, 20:24   #2
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One thing I have found that works is to stay on the boat for a while before making the passage. Maybe at least a week or more? The more movement at the anchorage or mooring the better. Same thing with doing a few shorter trips in the same period. This seems to help your natural equilibrium adjust before heading off to sea in proper.

I am not too big on the pills due the fact I find most cause drowsiness. Although they really can work I still think heaps of ginger is a good natural alternate and/or supplement.
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. - Voltaire
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Old 14-10-2010, 21:34   #3
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I've had great results with Bonine, so much so that I found myself below decks cooking for the other crew, reading whenever I wanted, etc. The rap on it and other med's of its type is drowsiness, but that wasn't my experience. I stood my watches, did charting, etc all underway and never noticed feeling sleepy. Also, dried ginger in large capsules from the health food store. Any time I feel queazy I take one or two and get instant relief although not prolonged as is the Bonine. I tried the patch once but found it irritated my skin so bad I removed it. I cannot remember if it actually helped before that point.
s/v Seascape
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Old 15-10-2010, 08:11   #4
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Have a friend who gets ill looking down at a map in the car. And cannot even ride in the back seat. Talked her into going out with us for a week and she said if she was sick the whole time she would kill me. Had her take 1/2 of a bonine every night for a week before we left. Then one each night on the trip. You get most of the drowsiness out of the way while your asleep anyway. She had no problem whatsoever.

I, on the other hand, double dosed on Pinot Grigio the night before a sporty run from Anagada back to USVI. Spent the trip with my head in a bucket. Very pleasant. All were amused.

But on other occasions I have had good luck with bonine but you cant wait till you feel a bit ill before you take it. Get ahead of it by a couple of days and it seems to work for me.

But when we can get it we stock up on sturgeon (sp?) That seems to work even if you're a bit late in starting in on it.

Good luck on it!!

S/V Vivo
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Old 15-10-2010, 08:36   #5
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My wife and occasional guests use Stugeron (cinnarizine). Difficult to get in US, we got ours from England. Works very well. Tablets are 30mg (not 700mg anti-seizure doses available e.g. in Mexico - some people are complaining about side effects when taking these - duuhhh).
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:06   #6
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Horrible! I know seasickness too well, and also get very travel sick in cars.

To add to all the other good advice - in particular spend time afloat but not necessarily out there in big waves to begin with - if you are really ill then:

(i) lie down, preferably in the warm and dry below. Take a bucket with you. Sleep (you will, honest). You will feel better after and this is much better than being cold, wet, in the way and miserable in the allegedly fresher environment of the cockpit.
(ii) drink hot water. This really helps me. Cold water makes my poor stomach feel worse, and any flavouring etc has predictable consequences. But hot water will stay down, comfort me and combat dehydration.
(iii) hold on to the fact that it will pass. Honest. It may take days but it will pass and (whatever you hope for) it won't kill you.

If you are both worried she will be really incapacitated then start slow and small and possibly with friends. Don't set off for a long, offshore passage before either you can manage without her for (say) 24 hours or she's over the worst.

We use stugeron and ginger. Also a drug called Buccastem in the UK which is an anti-nausea drug. It will knock you out but after the one dose you'll be much better able to cope.
Sarah & Pip
s/v Roaring Girl
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:07   #7
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I had started sailing when I was 12 and I am now 66 also I spent 21 years in the Navy. I have seen sea sickness in the best of them, when My wife started sailing with me some 25 years ago when I built out first 27 footer, she was seasick at just the thought of going sailing with me. we were talking to her grandmother, who was really into herbs, and she brewed up some real ginger tea from the ginger root and she shaved some raw and put it through a tea inffuser, she drank about a 1/2 cup before sail and sipped it through out the day while sailing and was never again sick, and we have been out in 25k winds and 15 ft sea, (note--make sure you add some honey)-----------Seabee
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:08   #8
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In my wife's case the more time she has spent on the boat the more immune she has become. 20 years ago she got sick in 3 foot waves. Now it is no big deal.
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:26   #9
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I like the Ginger tea idea. We always get our sea-sick crew members to bring along Ginger Snaps, but when they get sick they can't eat 'em. We can though!

Good Luck with your wife.
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:40   #10
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jamiecrab... my wife has used marezine for years and had great relief from motion sickness with it. She heard about it from a nurse who was living aboard in Dana Point, CA years ago who regularly lost her lunch every time they left the dock. The great thing about it is there doesn't seem to be any of the drowsiness associated with other seasick remedies and you can seem to take after the onset of symptoms. My advice is to try different remedies and see what works best for her. Fortunately, I haven't had a bout of seasickness for over 50 years perhaps because rum seems to settle my stomach... cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:49   #11
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I used to hold the title of 'Queen of Car Sickness'. When I was little my parents made me ride in the car with a big coffee can and believe me it got a lot of use! Then I read about ginger root capsules and decided to give them a try but really didn't think they would work. For the most part they do. You have to take a couple of them every few hours and you need to start before you set out on your trip. However, I still got sick during the first week we had our boat. We had a couple of days of rolling seas on our delivery trip and I really don't think anything would have worked, but that was last time it ever happened. I've completely forgotten all about sea sickness and don't need the capsules anymore but I carry them on the boat for guests. You can find them almost anywhere that sells vitamins.
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Old 15-10-2010, 11:17   #12
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I think only a cat is a possible way out. Charter one and see how she feels.

Otherwise you will do the sailing part and your wife will fly in and cruise or spend the marina time with you (if that's OK with her).

Seasickness can pass away after a couple of days (often 1-2 days) but the only way to learn if it does is to go out for a week and see how it works for your wife.

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Old 15-10-2010, 14:08   #13
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I don't get seasick on boats, but I DO get seasick when I go snorkeling. Weird.

You may also want to try this thread. Some lively discussion of it there.
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Old 15-10-2010, 14:13   #14
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Originally Posted by RiverRat View Post

You may also want to try this thread. Some lively discussion of it there.
Don't let your wife read that thread! She'll think she's going to die!
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 15-10-2010, 14:51   #15
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LOL Mark does have a point.
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